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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Scary night in San Jose

COSTA RICA | Monday, 20 August 2007 | Views [1485]

            I landed in Costa Rica tonight. I went through Customs (which took over an hour) and got another passport stamp. Right outside, I met a young man named Adrian, from France. He asked if I wanted to share a taxi, but I told him we should just take the bus because it’s very cheap. We started walking toward the bus stop, but some taxi drivers were chasing us saying there were no buses. However, that’s a very common scam out here, and I read that in my Lonely Planet book. We took the bus, which was only about 60 cents. The taxi would have been about $10-$15. Adrian and I sat in the back and shared travel stories. A half hour later, we were dropped off in downtown San Jose. We began walking and I noticed trash all over the streets. It’s a bit depressing. A short distance into our walk, some police officers gave us a ride to the backpacker hostel that Adrian had booked a night. I decided I’d stay a night. It was only $13 with my International Student Identity Card. I put my camera and wallet in the locker and though I’d take a stroll around San Jose. I walked up Avenida Central and it’s a very depressing scene. Trash is abound and I noticed at least two dozen homeless people sleeping in cardboard boxes and plastic bags. This guy started to follow me, but I ran away and stopped at the internet café to email everyone. I only stayed for about a half hour. I then started running because I wanted to get back to my hostel, but these police got suspicious of me, thinking I had drugs. They patted me down and emptied my pockets. Even worse, they stole $20 from me. They let me go, but I was really scared and I started to cry. I was all alone and scared and then got lost walking back to the hostel. I was angry and hurt because I’ve never had an experience like this while traveling. Costa Rica has no army and the police can be very corrupt. I talked to Adrian for a few minutes and went outside and lay in the hammock to calm down. I was crying, but I still talked to this girl from New Jersey and this guy from South Africa. They calmed me down a little; the guy told me he’s been mugged while traveling. I don’t want that to happen to me. The atmosphere at the hostel is so nice; there are palm trees and a tropical setting. I then washed up and brushed my teeth. Tomorrow, I’m going to Monteverde, so I have to get up early. Good Night!

Tags: I should have known better!

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